Life in the Wilderness: Ten Tips for Surviving in Academia as an ECR

This blog post is intended for PhD students and early career academics. Since passing my viva (see blog post here) in January, I’ve learnt many things about the job market, current trends and what can really help you get shortlisted for a job. Here are my top ten tips for those who are actively seeking to remain in academia and make it their career. 1) The PhD is only the beginning.  Many people might tell…

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Book Review: Elizabeth Bouldin, Women Prophets and Radical Protestantism in the British Atlantic World, 1640–1730

Elizabeth Bouldin has written a lively, accessible and clear account of an often overlooked aspect of seventeenth-century religious history. Scholars interested in female visionary experience in England are often drawn to medieval figures such as Christina of Markyate, Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, the Reformation visionary Elizabeth Barton, or modern figures such as Joanna Southcott. The major strength of Bouldin’s monograph is the way it illuminates the messages of lesser-known visionary women: Baptists such…

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Academic Anxiety: Thinking Patterns in Academia

On a previous post I wrote about the eye-opening statistic that 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems in any given year. I also talked about my anxiety disorder openly for the first time. Panic attacks, overwhelming worry and difficulty sleeping had been part of my daily life for about a decade. This post is going to talk about the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) I have received since February, the positive effect it has…

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PhD: Surviving the Viva and Some Reflections

An academic once warned me that doing a PhD was a ‘dark night of the soul’. I laughed at the time at what seemed like a bit of a melodramatic statement, but they were absolutely right. After seven years of continuous study (BA, MRes and PhD), I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved to finally finish. In the three years I’ve studied for my PhD I’ve grappled with anxiety, depression and exhaustion-…

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Teaching: Applying to the HEA + Involving Students in Teaching Aims/Learning Outcomes

Earlier in the year I was delighted to become an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Thankfully I found the process of applying rather painless, as I had a substantial amount of teaching experience under my belt. I had been an Associate Tutor at Sunderland University convening a third-year module on early modern heresy and intolerance for two years in 2012-13. Needless to say leading a third-year module was a steep learning curve, but…

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